Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The winners of ’script I never want to see again’

Beyond writing, formatting, whatever else, lies the Holy Grail of Gimme A Break:The movie that I've seen before. Many times before.Did you really think changing some character names and moving around a scene or two is viable in terms of creating a new script!????

I'm not talking about a familiar theme, or even a movie along the lines of something that's already out there. I'm talking, 'I've seen this EXACT movie'. Every scene, every's deja vu all over my screen.

It's the difference between handing me a rip-off of The Matrix, and handing me the screenplay of The Matrix, with a few character names changed, and maybe a line of dialogue altered here or there.Strangely enough, rather than pulling from some obscure foreign film that may have died due to marketing weaknesses, these screenplays seem interested in stealing 'movie of the week' biopics from the 1980's. The story wasn't strong enough to translate to the big screen then; why do you think that has changed??? (Sorry for the multiple question marks - it seems more polite than shouting.)

I guess I can't knock someone for trying a theme that worked in the past (note: every screenplay follows a certain formula, it has to do with the filler whether the movie tastes like an eclair, pasty, or toilet.)But I cannot fathom why someone would take a mediocre script, with barely any conflict, a shadow of characterization, a lack of all things that make a movie great, and then try and submit THAT as their own work.Perhaps, because it might be less recognizable than a blockbuster? I dunno. It wasn't good then, and it ain't good now.

Please, write your own work. Whether it's good or rough, at least it will be your own. You own it, take pride in the fact that it's yours. The rest will come with time and practice. Only lazy bastards steal other people's work. Only slime claims it as their own.


  1. Hey Rachel, don't know if you're familiar with this:

    Apparently you can do this and be succesfull as well. He lost the case, but this isn't the first incident of plagiarism that Jarmusch has been involved in to some degree (Google it). I have no respect for him anymore as a filmmaker.

  2. Eeek - nope, I didn't know about that one. How depressing.